WWF Monday Night Raw 6/4/01

How will Chris Benoit respond after getting screwed out of the title again in his hometown on Smackdown? How will Kurt Angle and Vince McMahon respond to Shane McMahon making it to the ring? Will the mysterious videos of Undertaker's wife continue? 

Kane vs Christian WWF Intercontinental Championship

Kane's cast is smaller this week. Christian has recovered enough from TLC 3 to have this match. He was unable to even be at Smackdown while recovering. Edge frequently gets involved. After he's hit with a chokeslam, Kane and Christian brawl on the floor. During the commotion, WCW's HUGH MORRUS hit the ring to deliver a moonsault to Edge. With music and a titan tron. WCW has a new logo. "The Invasion continues!" Kane pins Christian with a powerbomb. Title retained. Shane was shown celebrating in the production truck. 

TO THE BACK. Vince McMahon makes his way to the ring.

Mr. McMahon has continued to make his way to the ring. He does not look to be in a good mood. I'd be pretty pissed if my production team just worked with Shane to put WCW logos/music up for a run in. And then celebrated with him on camera. Vince makes it clear that WCW will not be a disruptive force in his company, then moves on to Benoit. After Benoit's actions on Smackdown, he's being "rewarded" with a match against the Big Show tonight. OUTTA NOWHERE, Mick Foley comes to the ring. He's here just to plug his new book. What a liar. He was actually there to talk about his legally binding WWF contract. That contract stipulates he can make a main event for any Raw of his choosing. Which happens to be this Raw, right here in Minneapolis. And the match he's making is Steve Austin vs Chris Jericho for the WWF Championship. Benoit and Vince will be banned from ringside. Oh, but poor Mick, that contract was signed in Connecticut and is only valid in the state of Connecticut. Mick planned for that and brings out Jesse The Governor Ventura. Jesse, as the highest elected official in the state of Minnesota, mandates that Jericho/Austin will happen tonight. Not only that, but Mick will end the night with a big surprise. This was certainly MUCH better than having Jericho/Benoit do a dueling promo with Vince for 15 minutes. Vince's reactions are unmatched in wrestling history. 

TO THE BACK. Austin and Debra arrive in their limo. Austin makes Debra carry his  bag. BUT WHO WAS LIMO?!?!?!

Jeff Hardy vs Matt Hardy King Of The Ring Qualifier

I don't think these two ever really had particularly good matches against each other. Some VINTAGE Jeff sloppiness in this. As you'd imagine, they have counters to everything. It ends with Jeff countering the twist of fate into a backslide. Jeff advances to the KOTR.  Matt is definitely not happy for his brother, but Lita's reaction is super weird. It was basically like, "Yep, I knew Jeff would win". 

TO THE BACK. Austin makes Debra hold his title belt while he shines that sumbitch up. Vince informs Austin of the Jericho match tonight. Austin was not pleased. His back is killing him, damn it! This divorce with Linda is impacting Austin, so he wants Vince to STFU and give her half of everything. Vince is VINCE MCMAHON, DAMN IT. That woman doesn't deserve half of his money. "Well, you're right about that. I don't believe a woman *glare from Debra*...nevermind." Lol. Elsewhere, Mick hits on Trish, who doesn't want to do a bra and panties match with Terri. Mick convinces her to do with by talking about the Alexander Hamilton/Aaron Burr duel and her duty as an American. Even though she's Canadian.  

TO THE OFFICE. Regal is teaching Tajiri the finer points of tea when Kurt Angle shows up. Regal lets Kurt know that Shane has agreed to the match at KOTR. Regal didn't realize Kurt also wanted to be in the KOTR tournament. And he wants a match against Spike. Kurt is very needy, Christ. He'll get Spike in a 6 man tag with the Hollys against the Dudleys. 

TO THE BACK. Spike gets a talking down to by his brothers. 

TO WWF NEW YORK. Molly Holly is there to reveal she really likes Spike as well. Spike was watching it and might have popped a boner. 

Dudley Boyz vs Holly Cousins/Kurt Angle

Kurt has a not so pleasant history with the Hollys, having broken Bob's arm, smashed Crash with a chair, and attacked Molly. The Hollys try to ice Kurt out because...well, I just explained it. Spike gets the shit kicked out of him from everyone and is in the ring for most of the match. Kurt pins Bubba with the Angle Slam.

TO THE BACK. The Big show heads to the ring.

Big Show vs Chris Benoit

Big Show seems like a mid card gate keeper at this point. He exists to put over guys who are already above him on the pecking order and therefore don't really benefit from beating him. It doesn't really enhance a guy like Benoit to be able to beat Big Show after clearly being shown to be better than Steve Austin for a month straight. It's just kind of weird to me. Show counters the diving headbutt with a choke, Benoit then counters the chokeslam with the crossface, Show rolls that over, Benoit rolls back and gets Show to tap out. 

TO THE BACK. The Undertaker arrives on his bike over an hour into the show. 

The Undertaker comes to the ring. He's pissed. Somebody's got a death wish, and that wish is about to come true. He calls out the stalker. He's gone out of his way to keep his family out of the business. Well, except for Kane. This whole thing started with JR getting a letter and tape, and he best be jogging his memory or he'll be the first on Taker's list. Paul says something about "old lady", so Taker slaps the piss out of him. JR suggests Taker ask Vince about it. During this, the Titan Tron plays another tape of Sara Taker playing with their dog. 

DURING THE BREAK. Taker confronted Vince McMahon. Vince ain't got nuthin' to do with this. Vince suggests that Shane is behind this, using Shane being in the production truck to run WCW logos as his reasoning. That...makes a lot of sense, actually. Obviously, someone has an in on the production team or is able to hack the truck's signal to get those tapes playing. Shane has proven that he can do that. Hm.

Rhyno vs Tazz King Of The Ring Qualifier

ECW represent. Lol that Paul got slapped in the mouth before this match, and as such can't talk these ECW guys up. I hate the ticker with upcoming dates. It takes up a huge chunk of the screen and changes the aspect ratio. Plus has a super annoying guitar riff to introduce it. Tazz hasn't even had a match since WM17, focusing on his broadcasting career instead. And boy does it show. He's gassed and sloppy as fuck. I'm not sure why he was able to be competing for the KOTR if he hasn't had a match for 2 months. He dumps Rhyno on his head a few times, then hits a GORE GORE GORE of his own for some reason. Weirdly, it actually looked better than most of Rhyno's gores. Tazzmission! Rhyno breaks it and hits the real GORE GORE  GORE to gain entry into the KOTR. Fun little match, surprisingly, because Tazz is a dude I think suffers harder than most guys as far as "This guy was dope at the time" shit goes.

TO THE BACK. Austin and Debra talk about the upcoming match with Jericho and what Mick's surprise might be. Austin sends Debra to try to get info out of Mick, as they are still friends. You know, Austin and Debra have great on screen chemistry if you can try to put the end result of their relationship out of your mind.

TO THE BACK. Debra goes looking for Foley. She finds him...sitting on the steps, drawing faces on his sock. She brought Mick candy. He won't tell her the secret, but he did give her an autographed copy of his new book. Elsewhere, Edge and Christian complain about Kane. Both want to be IC champ, but Edge doesn't really think Christian should enter the KOTR, since he's already entered. Edge never told him.

TO THE COLE. Chris Jericho gets to talk about his upcoming title match, but damn, I'm so sick of Jericho in all forms. His promos are so fucking lame. It was fun when he was a mid card heel in WCW. It's not fun as a top level face in WWE. 

TO THE BACK. Terri heads to the ring for her bra and panties match.

Terri vs Trish Stratus Bra & Panties Match

Terri is again wearing heels to wrestle in (real heels) and is barely clothed to begin with. Why would you wear damn near stilettos and an ultra mini skirt to a wrestling match? I'm not going to gif women ripping their clothes off for you pervs. Saturn comes out in a robe, revealing himself to be wearing a bra and panties. This distracts Terri and allows Trish to strip her. LOL BRAIN TRAUMA.

Chris Jericho vs Steve Austin WWF Championship Special Guest Enforcer: Mick Foley

I guess Mick being the enforcer was the big surprise. Austin attacks as Jericho enters the ring. Look, It's clear that Benoit is better than Jericho, and better positioned as a dude who is clearly better than Austin. Austin shouldn't be worried about Jericho, and he doesn't seem to be. He also throws Jericho into Mick, presumably because he was tired of Mick plugging his fucking book. It was already a best seller. Do you really need to plug it every 30 seconds? Austin controls most of the match since Jericho really doesn't have the "oh he's got Austin's number"  thing going that Benoit had. Austin taking super frankensteiners is fucking weird. Not only was Foley bumped, but Earl got bumped as well. As Austin is about to tap out, William Regal pulls Foley out of the ring and punches the shit out of him. Then he beats on Jericho. Mick comes after Regal with a chair, but accidentally hits Jericho. Austin rolls him into the ring and...Jericho kicks out! Austin picks Jericho up and hits the stunner to get the win. Title retained. Regal gets put in the Walls of Jericho and mandible claw at the same time.

I think it says everything you need to know about WCW when the first guys to invade are Lance Storm and Hugh Morrus. Two mid card for life guys who couldn't even get to the main events in the dying days of WCW when all the top stars were gone or out of action. Vince pointing out Shane's involvement with the production team gives the eventual revlatation a little less OUTTA NOWHERE. I don't recall that at all. E&C and Hardys break ups begin here, both over the KOTR.